Was back in Huiyuan Noodles today but didn't feel like eating noodles (The tomato meatball noodles were just OK when I tried them, by the way. I asked for salt.) I ordered a plate of black bean and fish fried rice (豆豉鱼 炒饭 dòuchĭyú chăofàn) and a plate of tiger skin peppers (虎皮青椒 hŭpí qīngjiāo) from the vegetable section.
Fried rice is often a good choice for people who can't handle spicy food. Yuxiang rousi fried rice, huiguorou fried rice, tomato egg fried rice, pork and green pepper fried rice, all are great and light on the lajiao (hot pepper). My black bean and fish fried rice was fine; lots of flavour without being too salty, though was a bit lacking in the stuff/rice ratio. The bean sprout pao cai on the side was unusual and very good.
'Tiger skin' green peppers have been cooked til their skins blister; it's a dish that sometimes comes very mild and sometimes incendiarily hot depending on what kind of green peppers are used. Since the weather is hot and tiger skin peppers are a common cold dish, I half expected to get cold ones but these had been freshly cooked. The plate had a mix of hot and mild green peppers, with a little soy sauce and garlic underneath. Simple and great.
The family style service here is very welcoming; there is an older woman who will wonder what's wrong if you order only a little food and sometimes a completely adorable boy of about ten who runs orders and can answer questions about the menu and ingredients. Today I asked for the rest of my rice to be wrapped up and they packed it into a takeout bowl with a spoon and a fresh helping of pao cai before putting it into a bag. Because the standard 'dabao' at places like this is to pour your leftovers into a plastic bag that is then loosely knotted, I was impressed.